Steelers News

Kenny Pickett ‘Obviously Befitting The 1st-Round Pick They Took Him With, Ravens HC Says

The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking to win their third game in a row today, something that they haven’t done since the middle of the season last year. They’re also looking to win their fifth in a row against the Baltimore Ravens, something they haven’t done in quite a while.

But they’re also looking for a first in this one: a first win over the Ravens for rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett. It will be his first time facing them, and likewise, their first time facing him, but head coach John Harbaugh has been impressed with what he’s seen so far.

“Yes, he’s doing well, looks good”, he told reporters last week when he was asked to evaluate the guy who might be quarterbacking his biggest rival through to the end of his coaching career. “A very talented guy, obviously befitting the first-round pick that they took him with this year. That’s our challenge along with that whole offense”.

One thing the rookie had done exceptionally well of late has been in protecting the football, which is saying something considering he threw eight interceptions and lost a fumble in his first five games. He hasn’t turned the ball over once since then and has the second-longest active streak free from interceptions.

Of course it’s not a one-man operation, and the truth is the Steelers have been running the ball lately more than they have been putting it in the air. Pickett has attempted 30 passes or fewer in three of the four games since the bye.

“Big, physical offensive line, obviously, downhill running back and other backs that do their thing”, Harbaugh noted in describing the rest of the Steelers’ offense. “Great catching tight end, great blocking tight end and three really good receivers who do different things really well”.

That tight end would be Pat Freiermuth, the second-year man coming off of a 76-yard game, his fifth game of the season with 75 or more yards. He’s up to 50 catches for 597 yards, although he is still stuck on just one touchdown reception.

Then of course there’s the running game led by starting running back Najee Harris. He has 671 rushing yards on the season now, 310 of which have come since the bye week over the past four games. His yards per carry is up to 3.8 on the year since averaging over 4.6 over the past month.

Pickett has looked poised this year. For the most part, he has been accurate and made good decisions. He’s been mostly good in situational football—except in the red zone, where everybody on the team and the coaching staff knows they need to start converting field goals into touchdowns at a higher rate. That’s the next step for him regardless of what round he was drafted in.

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